Thursday, September 03, 2009

Energy Savings at the Dover Air Force Base

The News Journal reports that the Dover Air Force Base is using stimulus funds to create big savings in energy efficiency:
DOVER -- Some $25 million in federal stimulus money has been issued for a major energy efficiency project at Dover Air Force Base -- including the retirement of an inefficient steam plant that provides heat to more than 70 buildings on the 3,900-acre base.
The story makes four useful points about the economics of energy conservation. First, the project doesn't involve exotic technology, though the savings will be substantial:
Steve Kalmer, energy manager for the Air Mobility Command, DAFB's parent organization, said last October that up to 55 percent of heat generated by centralized steam plants was lost during transportation to remote buildings and facilities.
Second, energy efficiency standards aren't just for wimpy Democrats. The project meets the requirements of Executive Order 13423 issued by President George W. Bush:
Sec. 2. Goals for Agencies. In implementing the policy set forth in section 1 of this order, the head of each agency shall:
(a) improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions of the agency, through reduction of energy intensity by (i) 3 percent annually through the end of fiscal year 2015, or (ii) 30 percent by the end of fiscal year 2015, relative to the baseline of the agency’s energy use in fiscal year 2003...
Third, reducing energy use doesn't require rationing or reducing productivity. Nowhere does the Order specify that federal agencies work fewer hours or cut their output by 30 percent. The Dover Air Force Base won't have to shut down two days a week or schedule fewer flights to meet the energy efficiency standards of E.O. 13423.
Fourth, the capital investment required to create the energy savings will pay dividends for years to come. The stimulus program will disappear after two years, but the savings created by investing in energy efficiency will last for decades.


Anonymous Brian Shields said...

Those steam pipes are placed under the sidewalks in between the buildings, and the snow never needed to be shoveled in the winter. It was nowhere near unusual to see steam rising up from the cracks from the broken pipes during the nighttime and wintertime.

Some buildings had air conditioning provided the same system, very inefficient.

12:37 AM, September 04, 2009  
Anonymous Edmund Dohnert said...

While it is always commendable to implement energy efficiency measures, the DOD could have done this a long, long time ago (say after the 1973 oil embargo). It has surely always had enough money to do things like this and hardly needs to depend on so-called 'stimulus' money. But there were always other priorities, such as a new officers' club or golf course.

Military energy conservation is almost an oxymoron. I would venture that a single round-trip flight from Dover to Afghanistan by a fully loaded C-5 transport probably consumes far more fuel than will be saved by this Dover AFB energy project.

As long as Pentagon top brass use Air Force transports as their private limos, and as long as we are pissing away money, fuel, and lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, I really can't take this sort of stuff seriously.

10:57 AM, September 05, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"so-called 'stimulus' money"

Good stuff.

10:47 PM, September 05, 2009  

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